Outrage as video shows police officer choking black man in tuxedo at Waffle House

Anthony Wall’s night started by escorting his 16-year-old sister to her high school prom outside of Fayetteville, North Carolina.

It ended with the 22-year-old black man in handcuffs and face down outside of a Waffle House. A now-widely-shared video of Wall being choked and manhandled by a police officer has triggered an official review and renewed national concerns from racial-justice groups about police use of force.

The altercation between Wall and a police officer early Saturday was captured on cellphone and viewed more than 950,000 times on Facebook. Wall was still dressed in his black-and-tan tuxedo vest when the incident occurred at a Waffle House in Warsaw, North Carolina.

At one point, Wall cried out, “Get your hands off of me!” and “Get your supervisor out here!” as the officer grabbed him by his neck before slamming him to the pavement.

Nearly a week later, the Warsaw Police Department said they are continuing to interview witnesses and gather additional video as part of a wider investigation.

Wall was charged with disorderly conduct in public as well as resisting, obstructing and delaying a law enforcement officer, and released following the incident. He did not immediately return requests for comment.

Onslow County District Attorney Ernie Lee said his office is also investigating the case, and asked the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation for its help.

Videos posted to social media show only a short snippet of what occurred before the arrest: Wall and others were shouting back and forth with a Waffle House worker behind a register.

In an interview with ABC affiliate WTVD in Raleigh, Wall said he and his sister had just left her prom on the night of May 4 to get food at the restaurant. He didn’t detail what led to the fight with workers.

Wall told the station he was taking responsibility for his actions inside the Waffle House. But when police were called, one of the officers — who was twice his size — began to choke him.

“I was pretty much trying to scream for air and to breathe because he was holding my throat, and that’s when I got aggressive with him because, you are choking me,” Wall said.

“I’m not trying to be a person that dies out here or anything like that, I just want you to stop choking me,” he added.

He added that the officer’s hands “should have never been around my neck like that if my hands were in the air.”

Warsaw Police Chief Eric Southerland declined to comment to NBC News on details about the investigation or the officer’s actions, but said the internal review should be completed next week.

He added that an officer can use physical force on a subject if the person is not complying.

“The use of force is never pretty, naturally, in any manner, but it is required to get someone who is resisting under control,” Southerland said Thursday.

 

 

This article originally appeared on http://www.nbcnews.com